Prussian Union of Churches - Governors, Governing Bodies and Chairperons of The Church

Governors, Governing Bodies and Chairperons of The Church

Between 1817 and 1918 the incumbents of the Prussian throne were simultaneously Supreme Governors (summus episcopus) of the Church. Since 1850 – with the strengthening of self-rule within the church – additionally the Evangelical Supreme Ecclesiastical Council (Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat, EOK) became the administrative executive body. Its members, titled supreme consistorial councillors (Oberkonsistorialrat, ) were theologians and jurists by vocation. With the end of the monarchy and the summepiscopacy in 1918 and the separation of religion and state by the Weimar constitution in 1919 the church established by its new church order (constitution) an elected governing board in 1922, called the church senate (Kirchensenat), to which the EOK, with reduced competences, became subordinate. The church senate was presided by the praeses of the general synod.

With the Nazi regime's interference causing the violation and de facto abolition of the church order, new bodies emerged such as the state bishop (Landesbischof) in 1933, deprived of his power in 1935, the state ecclesiastical committee (Landeskirchenausschuss) since 1935 (dissolved in 1937) and finally the de facto usurpation of governance by the illegitimately appointed president of the EOK since (till 1945). By the end of the war a spontaneously formed provisionally advisory board (Beirat) appointed a new president of the EOK. In 1951 the EOK was renamed into church chancery (Kirchenkanzlei), followed by renaming the church body into Evangelical Church of Union in December 1953.

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